In the past few years, there has been growth in the demand for foreign artists to stage concerts here in the Philippines.
This was one of the reasons N91Live—a talent booking, promotion, and live event production company—ventured into local concert production.
Helmed by Jun Lorenz Mamangon and his wife Irene, a former local singer, N91Live aimed to bring international performers as well as local artists to perform live before Filipino audiences.
N91Live’s concept of producing concerts locally started two years ago when Jun was approached by a local promoter to help bring Justin Timberlake for a benefit concert.
The international singer-actor did not have a concert tour at that time but N91Live managed to feature him as a special guest, along with American R&B singer Jojo, in Timbaland’s benefit concert for the Ondoy typhoon victims in 2010.
N91Live will produce another concert by bringing back American artists Michelle Branch and Jojo in a back-to-back performance in Manila (June 7) and Cebu (June 8).
“What better way to start and come back fresh, deliver something new, deliver something different for the Filipinos, it’s entertainment.
“We all love music, right? We love to sing. So, I go, ‘This is the business I wanna provide.’ And I have been doing that,” said Jun in a private conference for the upcoming concert last Saturday, May 19, at Chef Laudico Bistro, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
After Michelle and Jojo, N91Live has a list of other artists that they would like to invite, but some of them are still under negotiation.
BUSINESS SENSE. The artists included in their list were not only a matter of personal choice. N91Live also considered market demand as well as the local promoter’s preference.
Jun told the invited media, “The way I decided this, I find sponsors in this country and get their feedback.
“They’ll tell me, ‘You know what, this is coolest in the ‘net.’ For example, believe it or not, there’s a lot of demand for Jennifer Lopez since 2011. I listen to them carefully.
“But can I pick up the phone and call my friend and say, ‘Can we bring Jennifer Lopez to Manila?’ That’s how I go about it.”
Aside from talent booking, the company also suggests creative ideas to local promoters on how to sell the event to the public.
He related, “We also have to do some thematic on how we can do that and make it happen to you in a sense na hindi ka naman lugi.
“We’re not the type of promoter who comes in and brings an artist and charges a million-dollar ticket. It’s not gonna happen, we’re not gonna do that.
“I’m here to basically provide the booking, negotiation, and acquiring the contract for you as local promoter.
“Whether you say, ‘Jun, let’s partner together.’ So, dalawa tayong magpo-promote. That’s okay.”
He also mentioned, “It takes more than just saying ‘O, let’s bring Britney here. Let’s bring Madonna here.’
“There’s a lot of factors involved like cost, touring alignment, and demand.
“Demand is very important. We have the demand for Madonna.
“Sure we’re gonna sell out at Mall of Asia. But what about the cost? Breaking the promoter’s bank, for example. I don’t do that.”
More than doing business, N91Live’s main concern is always to make the fans feel satisfied.
“What we have to remember is, of course, for the fans to be happy, for them to be able to afford that ticket.”
FOREIGN ARTISTS. One reason foreign artists always like to come back is the warm welcome of the musically-inclined Pinoy audience.
“The Philippines has the huge market when it comes to the concert scene. [Foreign artists] love this place.
“This is a place where if an artist is approached and [he/she wants to] go to the Philippines, I can develop a tour, and you know, they would jump for joy.
“They love this country.
“I mean, you’ve seen all the concerts here, right?
“Every time I talk to the managers when they come back, [I ask them], ‘How’s the Philippines? How’s the crowd? How’s the concert?’
“They love this country.”
COMPETITION. Jun is aware that as the demand for foreign acts increases, the competition between local promoters increases, too.
But this should not be reason for unhealthy competition, according to Jun.
“A lot of these promoters compete with one another,” he said.
“See, this is what we have to stop doing here.
“Rather than biting each others’ nail off or toes off, let’s stop this crab mentality. I mean, we can avoid that.
“In any business, there’s competition. But competition also makes it healthy.”
He also stressed, “Kung ma-establish ako dito, I wouldn’t compete so much.
“Pero what I’m gonna do is be in line with what the demand is here and what the clients are talking to me about.”
ISSUE WITH OPM. Jun is aware that aside from competition, there are also complaints from local music artists about foreign acts coming to Manila.
For now, he said, his company thinks about the usual clients.
“Our job as a talent agent or booking is to facilitate that.
“It’s also our business to make sure that I provide that service for the client.
“My clients are the artists and also the local promoters. So, wala tayong magagawa now.”
However, he clarified that N91Live is open to helping the local music industry.”
He said, “I think, give me some ideas. I’d be glad to do that. I’d be glad to start it.”